Consultation on changes to EPCs

In 2021 the government consulted on reforming Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) to add a metric showing a property’s energy use. No changes were made to EPCs as a result of this consultation and now the government is carrying out a new consultation on more extensive changes to EPCs.

The government wishes to make changes to EPCs to ensure they are fit for purpose to help deliver commitments to ensure domestics buildings meet a minimum fabric energy efficiency standard by 2033 and to prohibit the use of direct emissions heating systems in domestic buildings by 2045.

The consultation, which can be found here, proposes to reform domestic EPC metrics to present the following information on the EPC:

• Fabric Rating – setting out the current modelled fabric performance of the building in terms of its heat loss in standard conditions, in kWh/m2/year. This will show how well the building retains heat based on the building materials and insulation in the walls, roof and floor;

• Cost Rating – setting out the current modelled annual costs of running the building based on the EPC assessment, and how these costs could change as a result of measures recommended. This is the same as the Energy Efficiency Rating (EER) currently displayed on EPCs;

• Heating System Type – clearly identifying the heating system installed in the dwelling and whether or not it is zero direct emissions compliant.

Alongside these headline metrics, the EPC would report in a separate section:

• Emissions Rating – setting out the current modelled carbon dioxide emissions from the building in kgCO2/m²/year. This is the same as the Environmental Impact Rating (EIR) currently displayed on EPCs;

• Energy Indicator – reporting the modelled energy use of the dwelling in kWh/m2/yr.

A further proposal in the consultation is to reduce the validity of EPCs from 10 to five years. This would mean that, at the current trigger points (such as sale or let to a new tenant), an updated EPC would be needed if the building does not have one that was issued in the last five years.

Those wishing to respond to the consultation can submit their responses online here by 10 October 2023. Please do share your response with SAL so that we can gauge members’ views on this.

Subject to the outcome of the consultation, the government intends to introduce legislation to reform EPCs during the winter of 2023-24. This timeline is intended to allow reformed EPCs to be in place in advance of the introduction of minimum energy efficiency standards over coming years.

SAL has been advised that the government intends to publish a separate consultation later this year which will set out new proposals for minimum energy efficiency standards for domestic properties including those in the private rented sector. We will keep members updated on this matter.

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